Manzoor keeping fingers crossed despite not having licence to handle Penang

PETALING JAYA: Coach Manzoor Azwira is hopeful he can remain with Penang despite not having the right credentials.

The 43-year-old does not hold an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Professional Diploma coaching licence, a requirement for all Super League teams since the start of this season.

Manzoor AzwiraManzoor Azwira

He could, however, be given a lifeline as the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) had announced that they would discuss with the AFC to grant a temporary relaxation so that the affected coaches can continue serving their teams whilst pursuing the licence.

Kuala Lumpur’s coach Nidzam Adzha Yusoff also faces the same dilemma after his side earned promotion by finishing runners-up to Penang in the Premier League.

“I hope the FAM and AFC would give us some leeway considering the circumstances we’re currently facing. I was supposed to attend the course in Indonesia in August but it was cancelled due to Covid-19, ” said Manzoor.

“I didn’t pursue it last year because I wasn’t a head coach then.

“Moreover, the cost for the licence would set me back by about RM66,000.

“I couldn’t afford that kind of money, but now the team have agreed to support me.

“Regardless, I have made up my mind to remain with Penang. If I can’t be the head coach, I’ll settle as the assistant.

“Hopefully we won’t be made to wait too long because we have to start preparing for next season.”

Meanwhile, Manzoor is confident Penang will do well in the Super League if they retain the services of their Brazilian trio.

In a tough spot: Nidzam Adzha Yusoff and Manzoor Azwira (above, left) do not hold an AFC Professional Diploma coaching licence.In a tough spot: Nidzam Adzha Yusoff and Manzoor Azwira (above, left) do not hold an AFC Professional Diploma coaching licence.

Casagrande, Endrick Santos and Rafael Vitor have been instrumental in helping the Panthers earn promotion to the top flight and reached the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals before it was cancelled this week.

“We have decided to renew their contracts as we believe they will continue to shine for us, ” said Manzoor.

“These guys are good enough for the Super League although previously they have not had fruitful stints, but I know how to bring the best out of them.”

Casagrande had turned out for Melaka while Endrick played for Selangor last year.

“They are fantastic players to have in any team if you know how to play them. That’s football, it happens everywhere in the world, some players perform well for their former club but not after they moved and vice versa.

“It all boils down to tactical, combination and the camaraderie of a team.”

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